Thursday, September 23, 2004

Great quote?

National Review political reporter John Miller has a solid journalistic record. I enjoy reading his critiques of North Korea and irrational U.S. political views.

But I take exception to a tidbit he wrote today:
"I can tell when George Steinbrenner is lying," said Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox. "His lips move."
Great quote? I think not. Mildly amusing? Perhaps.

A couple of quibbles:
  • First, it was over twenty years ago that Reinsdorf said it (and was fined $500 for his wit).
  • Second, it's one of the oldest lawyer/politician/name-your-victim jokes in the book. American Heritage defines hackneyed as "overfamiliar through overuse; trite." I daresay this qualifies. A quick search shows that the joke has been told countless times about subjects as diverse as politicians, lawyers, Clinton, Bush, Kerry, Cheney, Condi, Jerry Falwell, the drug czar, recruiters, alcoholics, CEOs, clients, narcissists, those swifty hacks, men, Thai women, salesmen, cattle buyers, addicts, economists, Iraqi information ministers and conservatives to name a few.

Can a quote this hackneyed be great?

I'm no Steinbrenner fan, but I entreat Mr. Miller to stick to politics and not take on the greatest team ever.